All car accidents are stressful, but a hit-and-run accident is especially traumatic. Although it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident, it happens on Florida roads more often than you may think.
If you’re involved in this type of accident, it’s important to know the proper steps to take. Here’s what you should do if you’re a victim of a hit-and-run car accident.
Stay at the Scene of a Hit-and-Run Accident
A car accident is a traumatic event. It’s hard to stay calm when it happens to you. This is especially true when the other vehicle is fleeing the scene of the accident.
But it’s important to try to stay calm so you can collect the information you need. Stay at the scene. You shouldn’t try to pursue the other driver under any circumstances.
Chasing another driver is dangerous. You do not know why they are fleeing or what they might try to do if you pursue them.
Following an accident, emotions are high, and you don’t want to make a rash decision that could put you or someone else in danger. Consider your safety first and let the police handle the situation.
After a hit and run, you should call 911 as soon as possible. This contacts the police and an ambulance if needed.
When an accident happens, you don’t always realize you’re injured right away. When help arrives, they will assess the situation to determine what you need.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. You want to have a police report as evidence of the accident.
This offers proof of what happened and is beneficial for proving you aren’t at fault. Having a police report is important if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim.
You may receive a copy of the police report at the scene or information about how to obtain the report at a later date.
Get Medical Care
A car accident is traumatic to the body. You may have injuries that aren’t noticeable right away.
That’s why it’s always best to seek medical care and receive a thorough evaluation. A doctor may order imaging or other tests to check for injuries.
Seeing a doctor as soon as possible following an accident is important. Your medical report may be evidence in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Even if you feel fine after a hit and run, you should seek medical attention. Some head, neck, and back injuries may not be evident until days or even weeks following an accident.
The first moments following an accident are often a blur. But those moments are critical for identifying the other driver or vehicle.
If you can, try to note the make, model, and color of the other vehicle. Try to identify any damage to the other car.
If possible, snap a picture of the back of the car as it drives away. This may help police identify the tag number and find the driver as well.
If you saw the driver, note any identifying features such as gender, race, hair color, or clothing. Any information about the scene could be useful to the police or a car accident attorney if you pursue a personal injury case.
If other people witnessed the accident, it’s important to identify them. They can help provide details of what they saw and support your claim.
Look around for witnesses and obtain their contact information. If the accident occurred near a business or in a neighborhood, there may be multiple witnesses.
There may be video evidence of the accident as well. Write down the names and contact information of anyone at the scene.
The police or your attorney may want to contact these witnesses at a later date to discuss their account of what happened at the scene.
If possible, take pictures at the scene of the accident. Don’t do anything that risks your safety, however.
Photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other vehicle, accident debris, or anything relevant is valuable evidence in a hit and run case.
Taking photos and documenting as much evidence as possible can help you if you pursue a personal injury claim. This is valuable evidence for both your insurance company and your personal injury lawyer.
Call Your Insurance Company
After any car accident, you should inform your insurance agent that you’ve been in an accident. This helps get the claims process started.
Hit and runs are illegal, and this makes the process different from any other type of accident. This is not the time to admit any fault or go into great detail about the accident.
Admitting any type of liability can be damaging to your claim and affect the compensation you receive. Your best bet is to speak to a car accident attorney as soon as possible following a hit-and-run car accident.
An experienced car accident attorney understands the laws regarding hit-and-run accidents. They know how to negotiate with insurance companies and help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact a Tampa Car Accident Attorney
No one deserves to be the victim of a hit and run. Due to someone else’s negligence, you may be dealing with injuries, mounting medical bills, lost wages, and more.
You have rights and may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our Tampa car accident attorneys understand the trauma of a hit-and-run accident and are here to help.
We’d love to talk with you and discuss your case. Why wait?
Contact our office today.